NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - It's an active time for the tropical Atlantic, it is peak season after all, and there's a lot to talk about starting with Tropical Depression 9 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Depression Nine
The depression continues to remain very disorganized, and winds haven't changed at all since the system was upgraded to a depression Sunday evening. Winds remain at 35 mph, and it continues on a west-northwestward motion. Later today and into tomorrow, the system will begin to make a turn to the north and eventually the northeast on Wednesday as a trough begins to develop over the Southeastern United States. The depression will be in favorable conditions for the next two days as it churns through the Gulf. After that, wind shear from the west should intensify, keeping the system from strengthening any further. The forecast still calls for a tropical storm to make landfall in Florida's Big Bend on Thursday.
Tropical Depression Eight
The other tropical depression making news in the U.S., Tropical Depression Eight, continues to brush the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where tropical storm warnings are currently in effect. The depression could strengthen into a tropical storm at any time. The system is currently traveling north and is expected to turn to the northeast later tonight and curve back out into the Atlantic, away from the U.S. coastline.
Farther out in the Atlantic there are two systems that we are watching. Hurricane Gaston continues to roar across the Atlantic. Thankfully, Gaston poses no threat to land at this time, and gradual weakening is expected as it moves to the northeast with increasing speed. Interests in the Azores should monitor Gaston as it will be reaching the islands this weekend as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane.
Another Wave to Watch
And last, but certainly not least, is the tropical wave that exited the coast of Africa yesterday. While the National Hurricane Center doesn't expect any development of the wave over the next 48 hours, it does give it a 40% chance of development over the next five days. As we saw with the invest system that became TD Nine, forecasting a wave is tricky because there is no circulation for the models to begin their runs on, but as of this morning it appears the wave will continue to move westward over the open Atlantic for the next week. We'll have a better idea of where this wave will be going and if it could develop as we head into the weekend.